This Sunday's moviegoing dilemma: programs screen simultaneously


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From Starewiczs Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman
  • From Starewicz's Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman
In an unfortunate coincidence, two of the week's most interesting film programs both screen on Sunday night at 7 PM. In Hyde Park, Doc Films concludes its excellent found-footage series (which has presented works by such notable experimentalists as Peter Tscherkassky, Chick Strand, and Ken Jacobs) with a collection of shorts by Phil Solomon. In Wicker Park, the Northwest Chicago Film Society presents a program of works by Wladyslaw Starewicz, a pioneering figure in stop-motion animation whom Wes Anderson cited as an influence on his Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Starewicz program is sure to be the funnier of the two (his singular Revenge of a Kinematograph Cameraman, from 1912, uses realistic-looking insects to tell a story of infidelity and voyeurism!), but a Solomon screening is nothing to sneeze at. A confessional-poetic filmmaker in the tradition of Stan Brakhage (who was a longtime champion of his work), Solomon manipulates preexisting footage through chemical treatments and other processes to create, per Jason Halperin at Cine-File, "living, crackling, bubbling, blistering memories, [which] grow off the screen in an almost tangible surface texture." Solomon hasn't permitted his work to be released on DVD, as much of its power comes from the texture of the celluloid image, making this rare Chicago screening a noteworthy event.


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